Have You Fallen and You Can‘t Get Up?:
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first. Look how far you have fallen from your first love. Turn back to me again and work as you did at first.” (Rev. 2:4-5)
I still remember the first year after I became a Christian. I remember reading through the whole Bible from cover to cover in three months. I remember being at home, listening to praise and worship CD’s, and literally dancing around my bedroom for hours, praising and worshipping my wonderful Saviour, and thanking Him for His awesome love. I remember looking forward to going to church, every chance I got, so I could worship God, and learn more about Him from His Word. No one had to make me go to church. I WANTED to be there. If the doors were open, I wanted to go! Why? Because Jesus and His love was so real to me. I had been a sinner, but God had graciously forgiven me. I remember going out into the streets of Regina to talk to complete strangers about God’s love. I was so in love with Jesus. But I had friends in my church who had been Christians all their lives, and I wondered why there was no zeal and passion in their Christian experience. One day, I was talking to my best friend in my church, and I asked him why he never came out street witnessing with us. He said, “I think it’s great all you new Christians get all excited about telling others about Jesus, but I just don’t think it’s my calling.” Not his calling? What was he talking about? Weren’t we all called to share God’s love?
I remember praying a prayer often in those early days, “Lord, don’t let me ever get to a place in my life where Christianity is ‘ordinary’ or merely ‘part of my life.’ May I always have this passion – this newness and freshness that I feel now.” But do you know what? As I progressed in my Christian walk, I reached a point where the fire died out, and the passion was gone. Why? What happened? I had been to BibleCollege. I was interning to be a youth pastor. I had been a Christian for a few years. But I had allowed myself to get so busy doing good things for God, that I forgot the joy that came from maintaining a close relationship with God. I had left my first love. Yes, I was doing all the right things, but they weren’t motivated and empowered from a living and vital relationship with Jesus. But thank God for His faithfulness. Even when we’re unfaithful, He’s still faithful.
I felt that Jesus was calling me to return to Him, just as He did a church in Laodicea, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other. But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth. am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love. Be diligent and turn from your indifference. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:15-16;19-20). When I heard His voice that day, I opened the door for Jesus to come back in and be my first love again.
There have been many times in my Christian walk where I have been distracted from spending that daily quiet time with Jesus. But whenever it happens, I know I miss the love, joy, peace and strength that come from close communion with Him. Can you relate to my story? Maybe you’ve been a Christian for a while, but that fire and passion you once had has faded away. Jesus gives this advice to those of us who leave our first love: “Turn back to me again and work as you did at the first.” What work did we do at the first? Spending time praying, reading our Bibles, praising God, telling others about Jesus. Maybe you’ve stopped spending time with Jesus because the revelation of His love for you has grown cold. I pray that God would remind you about how much He loves you, totally, unconditionally and completely – and that His love would motivate you to spend time with Him. Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. Will you let Him in?
Pastor Chris Jordan